As part of the Alliance for Scotland's Rainforest, ACT is embarking on an ambitious project to save Scotland's rare and unique rainforest habitat, starting in Argyll. 

Scotland’s temperate rainforest is just as important and even more rare than better-known tropical rainforest. It is found on the west coast where cool summers, mild winters, wet conditions and clean air encourage the lush growth of mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungi and ferns. It is the variety and abundance of these plants that makes Scotland’s rainforest internationally important.

Why do Scotland's rainforests need help?

Saving Scotland’s Rainforest Project Manager Julie Stoneman said:

“Only 30,000ha of Scotland’s rainforest remains. It is choked by rhododendron; unable to regenerate due to grazing pressure; crowded by conifer plantations; and exposed to ash dieback and nitrogen pollution. In short, we face the very real risk of losing this globally important habitat completely.”

Alistair Whyte of partner organisation Plantlife Scotland added:

“The Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest is a partnership of organisations with a shared vision to see this precious forest thrive once again. But we can’t do this alone. We need the support of funders and policymakers to save this valuable habitat that locks in carbon, provides local livelihoods and supports communities.

We can protect and restore Scotland’s rainforest if we work together, but we must act now.”

Photo credits: Gordon Rothero and John MacPherson

Argyll is a perfect place to start

Argyll is home to more than half of the remaining rainforest habitat in Scotland and some of it's most scenic coastline. The rainforest underpins eco-tourism in Argyll, as well as offering traditional services such as firewood, shelter for livestock and venison products. It is an important resource for access and recreation, providing opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature. 

ACT has identified sites in Argyll suitable for piloting a series of interventions aimed at addressing the key threats facing the most at-risk areas of Argyll's rainforest. That work forms the basis of this project, which aims to develop and test the effectiveness of rainforest protection, regeneration and restoration at a landscape scale. Successful actions can then be rolled out across other rainforest sites in Argyll and across Scotland. Find out more about our project plans in this downloadable information sheet.

Photo credits: Matilda Scharsach and Laura Corbe

How can you help?

We have big ideas and ambitions but our approach is to start small and keep building as resource and support allows. Although this is a massive project, small contributions are still worthwhile and very welcome. We are also seeking grant funds to further support our progress.

Any donations made here will be used by ACT to deliver rainforest improvement and expansion within Argyll. Use the purple Donate button at the top of this page. 

Anne Lindsay from Glasgow made a donation to the project after reading about the rainforests in a national newspaper. She said, “I know there are lots of forests in Scotland but not rainforests, so it just seemed more important / special to keep them”.

Your donations could help to fund planting tools, biodegradable tree guards, native tree saplings, equipment for volunteers to clear rhododendron, community training, and much more.

More information

The Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest is a voluntary partnership of 21 organisations who are committed to collaborative action for the benefit of the rainforest. The partners are experienced, committed and ready to act. Many are already working to conserve the rainforest. Projects need to work at scale, across landscapes and in collaboration with land owners and other stakeholders in order to deliver significant results, so collaborative action is vital.

The Alliance aims to:

  1. Establish landscape-scale projects to restore and expand rainforest sites.
  2. Identify how the Scottish Government could give greater priority to restoring Scotland’s rainforest.
  3. Encourage and enable landowners and managers to restore and expand the rainforest in core areas.
  4. Work together to share ideas, information, knowledge and expertise to continually improve our understanding of how to best manage the rainforest.

Find out more from the Saving Scotland's Rainforest website here.

More information about Saving Argyll's Rainforest project, led by ACT, can be found on our webpage. Feel free to contact Julie Young, ACT Development Manager, for more information or if you have any questions: [email protected]

Photo credit: Stan Phillips